Are Video Games Getting Easier?
Question. Have you ever gone back and played the games you did when you were growing up? How did you find them? For me, the answer can be summed up in one word: Hard.
Finding and playing the games from the 70's, 80's and 90's isn't difficult. Emulators and Apps abound. My preferred method has been for years, to play them on my old Gameboy Advanced, which imported many old titles from the NES, SNES, and SEGA systems. Some of my favorites are Altered Beast, Mario 3, and Castelvania.
When I go back and play these games, I'm struck by how difficult they are to play. I think, paradoxically, it's because they're simpler. Because there wasn't as yet as much ability in graphics and story in gaming, the concentration was on sheer difficulty. If you don't believe me, go back and the Original Sonic the Hedgehog. Or Pac-Man. That game's a bloody nightmare after three levels.
A large part of the difficulty I have in playing these is the two-dimensional nature of them. My brain is used to being able to side step, strafe and sidle up to my quarry in games like Halo, Fallout 3 or Dragon Age. Reduce the number of possible options to a few route responses to given situations, and the mind of a modern gamer freezes. I can now manage a head-shot while jumping off a cliff, but I can no longer properly time a jump over a mushroom with feet.
The old games aren't about thinking, they're about acting. I never realized until years later that my ability to play through Mario 3 on one life was as much muscle memory as anything else.
It's a bit humbling to go back to those games you mastered as a kid, and find that all you uber skills at Warcraft avail you not in the halls of Castlevania. But there's also a plus side. There's a whole library of games out there to master again. Gannon needs to be dealt with.
Go Forth: The Princess is still in another castle. And Cutsmen is still the lamest idea for a hard level boss ever.